Lost all Outlook messages, address book, etc.

Posted:
in Third-Party Products edited May 2015
Help! I was trying to make room on my hard drive and copied everything from my Documents folder onto an external drive, then deleted it. Then, to my horror, I realized all my Microsoft Outlook data was in the Documents folder.



I tried what would be the logical thing to do and copied all the Microsoft Outlook data back to my Documents folder, but it will not restore my messages, etc. I then tried a few other tips I found online with creating a new identity, copying my stuff into that identity's place, etc. but nothing has worked.



Does anybody know how I can get all my stuff back? I have some really important emails, etc. that I really need.



thank you!
«13

Comments

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    If you move the entire Microsoft folder back into place from the external, doesn't it load the profile up? Obviously quit Outlook before copying and then start it up.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    Unfortunately, it doesn't and I don't know what I'm missing. I have totally deleted the Microsoft folder and copied my old one back over to my Documents folder and when I start Outlook, it is like it's brand new.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Try holding the alt/option key when launching outlook and see if it lets you switch identity.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    That lets me choose an identity to rebuild, but then opens the current one and not the old one. Thanks for the option.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    If you go into Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records/Messages and follow the folders right down until you get to the end, do you have a lot of files in there or is it empty?



    If you had put your folder with your old identity back in place and it still had all the messages, I wouldn't expect Outlook to make a new identity without saying there was an error of some kind. If that's what it's doing, there will be multiple folders in Office 2011 Identities.



    Try closing down Outlook and moving the folders in Office 2011 Identities somewhere else e.g the desktop and then move the contents of the Office 2011 Identities from the external drive into that folder. Then launch Outlook and see if a new identity has been added. If not, it must mean that it is using that identity but is perhaps having an issue loading your email data.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    Thank you again Marvin. I checked the folder and I have a bunch of folders under Messages; each one with another folder, but when you get to the bottom, there are only 3 messages. There are many identities there, all but one say (Backed up 2011-<date>) beside them.



    When I look at the Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity that I copied onto my external drive back on March 9th, it only has a 43mb Database file.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcondliffe View Post


    When I look at the Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity that I copied onto my external drive back on March 9th, it only has a 43mb Database file.



    That doesn't sound good. A default blank database file for me is 23MB in size. It's possible that it has text-only emails inside it but it still seems too small.



    Are all the identities of a similar size? If you hit command-i on each identity folder, are they all around the same?



    Also, do you use POP for email or IMAP? If you use an IMAP server, your email would still be hosted online.



    Lastly, if you used POP, did your emails migrate over to Outlook ok? Outlook for the Mac only came out recently and was Entourage previously. If you migrated it over from Entourage, the Entourage database may still exist on your drive.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    Well Crap! All are similar except for the 1st two Main2 identities. One is 311mb and the other is 284mb.

    We use POP for the email account, but have it set to not save a copy on the server. I did use Entourage previously, before moving to Outlook 2011. I just opened Entourage and it has emails up to the end of November which is when I started using Outlook 2011.



    I just can't understand why it got so screwed up just because I copied all the files to an external drive, deleted them and then copied them back. Just don't get why it didn't recover.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcondliffe View Post


    I just can't understand why it got so screwed up just because I copied all the files to an external drive, deleted them and then copied them back. Just don't get why it didn't recover.



    This is the kind of thing Microsoft does best - they've had decades of practice.



    If you haven't done this already, I'd try to setup the identity from the largest folder so that you have a structure like the following:



    Office 2011 Identities > newid > Main Identity > Database etc



    Just a single identity with a single Main Identity folder inside it. Then see what it does when Outlook opens.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    OK, I did that and when I opened Outlook, it rebuilt the database and created a 'Main Identity - Backed up 5/21/11'. So I removed it from the Office 2011 Identities folder and tried opening Outlook. The Outlook 2011 splash screen comes up , but the program never opens. So I switched the 'Main Identity' with the Backed up version and the same thing happened.



    Outlook just won't open now.



    I HATE MICROSOFT!!! This should not be this hard!!!
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcondliffe View Post


    Outlook just won't open now.



    If you move all the folders out, it should just start over again. If you do this so that the folder Office 2011 Identities is empty and launch Outlook, it should create a default identity called Main Identity. This will have two items in it, Data Records and a Database.



    If you then close down Outlook and switch those two items for the Data Records and Database in your 300MB+ folder and open Outlook, what happens?
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    Marvin, I can't thank you enough!! I get so frustrated that I don't slow down enough to go to the lowest (and simplest) entity in the chain to be able to solve the problem.



    This worked beautifully!



    Thank you!!!!!!
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcondliffe View Post


    This worked beautifully!



    Glad to hear it. Microsoft must be slipping - this only took 3 weeks to fix.
  • mcondliffemcondliffe Posts: 8member
    I agree! :-)
  • graphix1998graphix1998 Posts: 1member
    Martin - maybe you can help.... we had to replace a HD and used a TimeMachine backup. Outlook wants to rebuild the database, but then when its done, it says that Outlook can not use the file.



    How can we "work around" this MS issue...?
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by graphix1998 View Post


    Martin - maybe you can help



    I dunno, Martin doesn't come here much.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by graphix1998 View Post


    .... we had to replace a HD and used a TimeMachine backup. Outlook wants to rebuild the database, but then when its done, it says that Outlook can not use the file.



    You can try similar steps to the above but:



    - close Outlook and move everything out of the Office 2011 Identities folder

    - recover the largest identity folder to this location using Time Machine

    - move that backup identity somewhere else

    - open Outlook to create a default identity and close down Outlook

    - move the contents of the backup identity into the newly created one and open Outlook again
  • vvggvvgg Posts: 2member
    Marvin, I need help too please!!



    1. I have rebuild my database but before that I had archived email - click and drag from outlook to folder in hard drive. Now when I try to open those emails I get a message that says

    "Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity.

    Is there a way to transfer this info from old database to new dabase? How can I open those old emails? Any text software that may work? TextEdit doesnt open it.



    2. I had few crashes and used time machine to rebuid the database. All old databases that I have I can delete and keep the recent one only?



    2. Any software suggestion that will archive emails so the database doesn't get too big?



    Thanks!!
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vvgg View Post


    I get a message that says "Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity.



    Is there a way to transfer this info from old database to new dabase? How can I open those old emails? Any text software that may work? TextEdit doesnt open it.



    There's a guide here for migrating emails over:



    http://www.officeformachelp.com/outl...tipleMessagegs



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vvgg View Post


    All old databases that I have I can delete and keep the recent one only?



    Move them out of the folder first to make sure they aren't used and if everything works ok after quitting and opening Outlook, you can delete them.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vvgg View Post


    Any software suggestion that will archive emails so the database doesn't get too big?



    Ideally use a program like Mail that keeps emails as individual files rather than a large database but if you are set on Outlook, Microsoft has details on manual export/archiving:



    http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/offic...f-76d818e9882f
  • vvggvvgg Posts: 2member
    thanks this is all great!! Appreciate your help Marvin!
  • munnamunna Posts: 1member
    Hi friend....

    No need to worry about your lost Outlook messages,all other files.Because you can easily recover outlook attachments by using Repair outlook pst software.By using this software you can get back all your other Outlook data like folders, journals, contacts etc,easily.It also helps you to recover lost or deleted attachments from Outlook.

    Also you can download the demo version of software here.....
Sign In or Register to comment.